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Old 11-01-2012, 15:36   #361
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Wow, just read through the whole 24 pages.

So polarised. Seems most views are on one side or the other.

As a USSailing and RYA instructor for over 18 year I guess I have to throw in as well. Felt I need to make my position as an instructor clear since it seems only the instructors on this forum are defending education. That is really what we are talking about, not having some red tape shoved down your throat or big brother leaning over your shoulder forcing compliance. The question really is does one benefit form education in a trade or sport?

I am sure one could learn to skydive by jumping off a cliff and the ones who figured it out on the first jump would tell all the others that lessons were a foolish waste of time.

Can people develop into great sailors without any formal education? Of course they can. But all of you great sailors on this forum that did so, can you honestly look back and say that you wouldn't have learned some things faster by learning from someone with more knowledge and someone who could have imparted that knowledge.

You can't become a doctor by just reading books nor can you become a doctor by just cutting people open, there is value in both lectures, books, guided on the water training and developing experience on your own.

Quality programmes like RYA specifically recognise the need for experience and require minimum miles and passage lengths before students are allowed to progress.

To say that instructors are teaching because they can't "do" is showing a real ignorance of who instructors really are. How many of you non instructors spend over 40 hours a week on the water having your every action scrutinised by both management and student and forced to improve and fine tune everything over years in order to be a quality instructor.

Just because someone is a rubbish instructor also does not make them a rubbish sailor.

Regarding zee hags comments about rubbish students coming out of classes. That is not a failure of the education system that is a failure of that school and or instructors. Instructors are people and like some people are rubbish so are some instructors and like some businesses are not run to ethical standards so are some schools. It doesn't take a lot of googling or going on yelp dot com to read reviews to find good schools and good instructors.

Education is not a replacement for experience it is more standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before you so that you can learn from their mistakes and not have to repeat them all over again.

There is no better experience that learning in a student/instructor relationship in which both individuals respect and learn from each other.

Wow fingers hurt from such a long post....thanks for reading if you got this far

It is a shame to see that so many that have had or witnessed such bad sailing education that the general consensus on this forum is so negative towards it.
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Old 26-01-2012, 20:39   #362
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My solution is close to the middle ground. My partner and I have signed up for a learn to sail weekend in May, but we are putting a deposit on a small weekender tomorrow. I won't have any certification when I leave the camp - at least partly because the certifications require experience on boats longer than 20'. However, I will have seen an actual, moving sailboat before putting my book knowledge and $15k investment in the water. I looked into Nauticaed.com, but again, you have to log hours on a bigger boat than I will own.

In the mean time, we will do some driveway sailing and a bit of shopping for our safety equipment and other gear. And lots of reading. Camp is three months away and I am already on my fourth book. But I will not put my money in the water until I have some clue what I am doing.
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Old 26-01-2012, 21:43   #363
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
...
I am sure one could learn to skydive by jumping off a cliff and the ones who figured it out on the first jump would tell all the others that lessons were a foolish waste of time.
...
Reminded me of the joke where a guy jumps off the empire state building and as he whizzes past an open window on the 11th floor is heard to say "Huh... so far so good!"

Education/reading/classroom is great, if you listen and recall and can do some basic math in the moment. I can't imagine life without those. Nothing beats putting your hand directly in the fire though. You never forget that!
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Old 27-01-2012, 04:42   #364
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Wow, just read through the whole 24 pages.

So polarised. Seems most views are on one side or the other.

As a USSailing and RYA instructor for over 18 year I guess I have to throw in as well. Felt I need to make my position as an instructor clear since it seems only the instructors on this forum are defending education. That is really what we are talking about, not having some red tape shoved down your throat or big brother leaning over your shoulder forcing compliance. The question really is does one benefit form education in a trade or sport?

I am sure one could learn to skydive by jumping off a cliff and the ones who figured it out on the first jump would tell all the others that lessons were a foolish waste of time.

Can people develop into great sailors without any formal education? Of course they can. But all of you great sailors on this forum that did so, can you honestly look back and say that you wouldn't have learned some things faster by learning from someone with more knowledge and someone who could have imparted that knowledge.

You can't become a doctor by just reading books nor can you become a doctor by just cutting people open, there is value in both lectures, books, guided on the water training and developing experience on your own.

Quality programmes like RYA specifically recognise the need for experience and require minimum miles and passage lengths before students are allowed to progress.

To say that instructors are teaching because they can't "do" is showing a real ignorance of who instructors really are. How many of you non instructors spend over 40 hours a week on the water having your every action scrutinised by both management and student and forced to improve and fine tune everything over years in order to be a quality instructor.

Just because someone is a rubbish instructor also does not make them a rubbish sailor.

Regarding zee hags comments about rubbish students coming out of classes. That is not a failure of the education system that is a failure of that school and or instructors. Instructors are people and like some people are rubbish so are some instructors and like some businesses are not run to ethical standards so are some schools. It doesn't take a lot of googling or going on yelp dot com to read reviews to find good schools and good instructors.

Education is not a replacement for experience it is more standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before you so that you can learn from their mistakes and not have to repeat them all over again.

There is no better experience that learning in a student/instructor relationship in which both individuals respect and learn from each other.

Wow fingers hurt from such a long post....thanks for reading if you got this far

It is a shame to see that so many that have had or witnessed such bad sailing education that the general consensus on this forum is so negative towards it.
Well certainly a well written and balanced post except for the bit about skydiving - if you are going to use an analogy, try to use one that is believable.

FWIW, I drive cars, ride bicycles and motorcycles, sail and drive boats and fly planes. Only the plane required professional instruction, the rest were self taught although I accept that learning to drive a car probably requires professional input in this day and age.

I also agree that professional instruction does make most of us better, for instance I took an advance driving course some years after learning to drive and it certainly improved my skills and if I wanted to race sailboats, I might look for instruction to fast track the learning curve but at heart I am a DIYer.
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Old 27-01-2012, 05:51   #365
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Wow, just read through the whole 24 pages.

So polarised. Seems most views are on one side or the other.

As a USSailing and RYA instructor for over 18 year I guess I have to throw in as well. Felt I need to make my position as an instructor clear since it seems only the instructors on this forum are defending education. That is really what we are talking about, not having some red tape shoved down your throat or big brother leaning over your shoulder forcing compliance. The question really is does one benefit form education in a trade or sport?

I am sure one could learn to skydive by jumping off a cliff and the ones who figured it out on the first jump would tell all the others that lessons were a foolish waste of time.

Can people develop into great sailors without any formal education? Of course they can. But all of you great sailors on this forum that did so, can you honestly look back and say that you wouldn't have learned some things faster by learning from someone with more knowledge and someone who could have imparted that knowledge.

You can't become a doctor by just reading books nor can you become a doctor by just cutting people open, there is value in both lectures, books, guided on the water training and developing experience on your own.

Quality programmes like RYA specifically recognise the need for experience and require minimum miles and passage lengths before students are allowed to progress.

To say that instructors are teaching because they can't "do" is showing a real ignorance of who instructors really are. How many of you non instructors spend over 40 hours a week on the water having your every action scrutinised by both management and student and forced to improve and fine tune everything over years in order to be a quality instructor.

Just because someone is a rubbish instructor also does not make them a rubbish sailor.

Regarding zee hags comments about rubbish students coming out of classes. That is not a failure of the education system that is a failure of that school and or instructors. Instructors are people and like some people are rubbish so are some instructors and like some businesses are not run to ethical standards so are some schools. It doesn't take a lot of googling or going on yelp dot com to read reviews to find good schools and good instructors.

Education is not a replacement for experience it is more standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before you so that you can learn from their mistakes and not have to repeat them all over again.

There is no better experience that learning in a student/instructor relationship in which both individuals respect and learn from each other.

Wow fingers hurt from such a long post....thanks for reading if you got this far

It is a shame to see that so many that have had or witnessed such bad sailing education that the general consensus on this forum is so negative towards it.

I learned a lot from the classes I took. I learned a lot from books I read. By talking to sailors I was told some smart things and some fooolish things, but what they had to say was nearly always so they could demonstrate how much they knew, not because it was something I needed to know.

My BEST instructor has always been my boat, but most especially when I sail solo. I make a mistake and the boat tells me. But I wouldn't have wanted to have the boat teach me exclusively. It's all been useful. Since I've been sailing less than five years I have a pretty clear idea in my head of what I've learned and where.
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Old 27-01-2012, 06:27   #366
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

I agree with Rakuflames. Self learning and lessons don't have to be mutually exclusive.
I was self taught, read a book, bought a dinghy, and sailed five times around a small lake. Years later, when I wanted to cruise in a bigger boat, I took a week long course, and learned the basics. I then joined a sailing co-op, but after only one sail with them, I realized I was tired of people looking over my shoulder and scrutinizing every move I made, so bought a boat, and learned more over the next summer than I ever did before, by hands-on cruising.
Some of the finest sailors in the world are self-taught, but so are some of the worst ones.
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Old 27-01-2012, 08:09   #367
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

As a society we do not value self learning anymore... I believe the main reason is that it carries no certification. So that on-order to determine the person's abilities one must pay attention and know the difference between bullshit or truth..

Corporations have led the charge with MUST HAVE A DEGREE...Never mind your ability or knowledge.. W/o the paper the corp would be tasked with having to measure your ability.
Most can't or won't.

By the way, what you describe, is how I taught myself to sail 33 years ago...
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Old 27-01-2012, 10:35   #368
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

First, I confess, I haven't every post in this long thread. Just most of them.

My observation is that, one reason formal lessons get suggested so frequently here is because of the way the questions are worded. It's usually something like "I just bought a sailboat (I think it's called a 'sloop') and plan to leave for a circumnavigation next month, but I don't know anything about sailing. Can anyone explain what I need to know?"

Okay, so that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. Most of the people asking here want to learn FAST! They have plans and they want to move past the initial learning stage quickly. For that, professional lessons are the best approach. If you are willing to take lots of time, and get wet in the process, then you can learn like I did--buy yourself a Laser and a bunch of sailing books, and then just go out and do it.

Later, and despite having done some racing and having moved up through several intermediate boats to owning a San Juan 23' pocket cruiser, when I got around to wanting to charter someone else's 35' sailboat I decided it would be a good idea to get some formal training. At that point the sailing part was easy for me--I think I actually taught the instructor a thing or two about sail trim--but I had lots to learn about the many and various systems on a boat of that size and I had never operated a boat with an inboard diesel. The classes were well worth the time and money.

So, bottom line is that if you want to learn fast, find a good teacher. If you are willing to take your time, you can teach yourself an awful lot. In the end, though, no matter how much you think you already know, you can probably learn plenty from a good teacher with a formal lesson plan.
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Old 27-01-2012, 10:46   #369
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

And never forget that not everything is a training issue.........sometimes no amount of education can help
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Old 27-01-2012, 15:40   #370
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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And never forget that not everything is a training issue.........sometimes no amount of education can help
I think at that point events are called a learning opportunity .
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Old 27-01-2012, 15:49   #371
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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As a society we do not value self learning anymore... I believe the main reason is that it carries no certification. So that on-order to determine the person's abilities one must pay attention and know the difference between bullshit or truth..

Corporations have led the charge with MUST HAVE A DEGREE...Never mind your ability or knowledge.. W/o the paper the corp would be tasked with having to measure your ability.
Most can't or won't.

By the way, what you describe, is how I taught myself to sail 33 years ago...
+1

Sometimes I truly despair - ask closely why someone needs a degree and the answer is usually a version of NFI along with a mumbled version of demonstrating an ability to learn. Unless it's brain surgery you can tell within a week on the job whether someone is "able". With brain surgery it's inside 10 minutes .

But as you state, a large part of the reason is that the folk hiring are incapable of measuring ability, even if they knew what the job they were hiring for actually entailed.

And don't get me on HR especially where the recruitment function is outsourced The gormless leading the stupid .

But of course the main benefit to hiring someone with a degree, via HR via a recruitment agency is that when the person turns out to be unsuitable (or is bright enough to leave for better things :-).....then no one can be blamed.
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Old 29-10-2012, 19:06   #372
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Re: Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Well,

I read quite a few books on sailing, so I had the basic concept down. Then I bought a cal 29 in LA. Sailed it 3 times to Catalina, then sailed down the coast and up the sea of cortez to san carlos with a portable Sony SSB radia and a sat phone. Had a wonderful time. Too many people sit there wonder what it would be like, while others go out and experience it. Im not saying to do what I did either.

I had planned on sailing to mexico all along. I almost waited another year, but when I told one of the liveaboard in the marina that I had decided to wait another year. He had that knowing look. Like he had heard it a thousand times before from the people that are still there today working on their boat to perfection before taking off. Needless to say my wife was a little unhappy with my decision. She got over it quickly when she met me in Cabo for holiday and then later in La Paz for the sail up to San Carlos.
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